Psychotherapists and Counsellors Answer your Questions

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  • Claire Stephensen
    As a child I dreamed of being a dancer or musician and in my teens, I was drawn to health. It was during my early 20s that I realised that it is impossible to separate mental health from the arts – which led me to studying a little bit of psychology before undertaking a Masters of Music Therapy. ...
  • Helen Basili
    Social justice has always been very important to me and counselling was a way of enacting these values....
  • Elaine Ford
    I have always enjoyed helping people find meaning in their lives. During my hospital training as a student nurse, I met many people who faced significant health challenges or struggled to adjust to their condition. I wanted to learn more to be of greater help to them, which led me to the counselling roles....
  • Liz Scarfe
    I'd like to think I knew what led me here, but really, life and the directions it takes us is such a mystery, I probably don't know the full story. I started studying Process Oriented Psychology because I saw the depth of insight and awareness about life that it could give me - which is a deep kind of power. So was at first a very personal healing journey because Process Oriented Psychology demands the student do a significant amount of their own therapy, in part because therapy is so much about our capacity to connect with...
  • Odhette Aaronfeld
    An encounter with two people who had had open heart surgery. I wanted to sit with each person and listen to their story, their fears, understand what knowledge they lacked that was making their journey through this ordeal even harder. Having worked in aged care as a registered nurse I had been able to spend time with residents and their families and give them more holistic care. A busy cardiac ward is not a place that time moves slowly or patiently in. This made me think that there is work to be done. People need someone that...
  • Rob Montgomery
    My background is in the corporate arena at General Manager level of a large manufacturing company. I was interested in the people development area and this led to a Health Counselling Diploma then progressed naturally to my Masters in Psychotherapy. This job allows a great privileged journey through the lives of your clients, their highs and lows, their ability to share and gain some coping mechanisms for their difficulties. Watching a client come out of the darkness and discover their unique qualities is very rewarding. ...
  • Loretta Pederson
    Connecting with people and offering care has been important to me since I was quite young. I am also interested in finding ways to address injustice, and see my professional and volunteer work as part of living out this commitment....
  • Karen Druce
    My family of origin experiences growing up formed the bedrock of my desire to understand individual differences, personal temperament, human suffering and resilience in the face of life’s storms. ...
  • Matt Dale
    As a Psychologist I am driven by the desire to help individuals navigate their way through complex human challenges. I chose psychology as a profession because of my passion to learn more about the impact of human emotions, listen and guide others with the insights I have gained over the last twenty years. But most importantly, I chose psychology because I wanted to help people to make real, practical and applicable change in their everyday lives....
  • Jonathan Tandos
    Most of my life people have been coming to me to share their stories and issues. In my first experience as a client in counselling I felt very inspired and began to consider whether I wanted to be a therapist myself. When I first started studying psychology it fit me, which was in stark contrast to what I'd studied before. It feels like its genuinely me....
  • Mary A McIntyre
    Ever since I was a child i have had a passion and curiosity for understanding people and what makes us tick ! My own challenges, good therapy and healing modalities have helped me heal and grow over the years. I am a believer in good therapy....
  • Brian Whiter
    For as long as I can remember, I have wondered about the meaning of life. My curiosity about why and how we slip into unstable mental health, and then remain in those unhealthy patterns for indefinite periods, got me interested in the study of the various psychotherapies. I decided to pursue psychotherapy as a profession as it gradually began to point to ways in which I could understand what it meant to be human, and in relationship, and how to better understand myself in these relational dimensions....
  • Rebecca Salter
    I chose counselling as a profession as I had been in the commercial property world for 13 years and having had three children growing up, was looking for something more meaningful but where I could draw upon experiences to help those around me that I saw struggling from marriage breakdowns, burnout, anxiety, depression, adults and young people facing addiction issues, school refusal etc... I started out working voluntarily for the Salvation Army in 2008 after completing a telephone counselling certificate and knew that after...
  • Sally Walsh
    we all deserve to give ourselves more choice and to live a fulfilling life...
  • Michele Watson
    I believe in people's potential and knew I wanted to help people. I studied psychology at university and then went looking for something more meaningful to me and that's when I enrolled in the transpersonal counselling diploma. I started working with a psychotherapist and through my relationship with her and looking at my dreams I learnt about Jung, dreams and the process of Individuation....
  • Geoff Heard
    I first studied massage, and was intrigued at the way people would, week after week, re-create in their bodies the tensions I had massaged away the week before. This led me to investigate the mind-body connection, and eventually to study Somatic Psychotherapy, in which mental, emotional and physical experience are seen as not only connected but as facets of a greater whole....
  • Carolyn Rogers
    I find people endlessly fascinating and I never tire of listening to their stories. Psychology seemed like a natural extension of Nursing and there are many overlaps between the two professions. I think I have the best job in the world and I feel blessed....
  • Carolyn Choy
    I've always been interested in listening to different people's life stories: how they've endured and overcome challenges and pain, as well as what drives them to be so passionate and loving in life. My initial field of IT was fine as a job, but it didn't fuel my soul. I'm so grateful to have searched and taken this other path which has enabled me to offer all of my experience (life and training) to others. I am enriched in return by each connection I make with my clients....
  • Urja Refalo
    I first came to psychotherapy in the early eighties. At this time I started my own personal journey by joining therapy groups, partaking in individual therapy and attending personal development trainings. Choosing psychotherapy as a profession became a natural step in my life’s journey, where I could then offer my support and presence, something of what I had been given in my own search for meaning and ‘who I am’....
  • Robyn Price
    Psychotherapy eventually found me. The seed was planted many years ago as I recovered from a bout of depression in my university days. The catalyst for recovery was a creative dance class run by a woman who would become one of Australia's Dance Therapy pioneers, Hanny Exiner. Through her classes, I discovered the healing power of movement, creativity, connection and dance making. I continued to dance, study and teach dance, at the same time as building a career in marketing communications, I began my Dance Movement Therapy (DMT)...
  • Kate Mikhailouskaya
    Many personal and professional experiences contributed to my choice of becoming a therapist. It's a life-long process and it's ongoing, but what remains unchangeable is my passion to witness the growth and transformation with my clients in the moments of psycho-therapeutic or psychoanalytic journey. It is fascinating and very rewarding work, and I am committed to it fully. This includes ongoing professional development, group and individual supervision as well as my capacity and willingness to self-explore and reflect on my...
  • Ron Dowd
    I feel it has chosen me. Although I worked for many years as a software engineer, I was reading Jung in my 20s and was fascinated, though I didn't understand much of it. I guess I was on the common "hero's journey" path, working in I.T. but also starting to make art. At a certain point I made a serious decision to study art and undertook my MA (Hons) thesis in landscape and imaginal thinking. It was this study that opened up the world of Gestalt to me, particularly its ideas of figure / ground. It was odd how my art works...
  • Donald Marmara
    I was motivated to train as a somatic psychotherapist following my own experience of anxiety and depression, and the frustration I felt with my lack of success in overcoming them via limited methods of counselling and psychotherapy. My search for healing led me to London, where I discovered a form of psychotherapy called somatic psychotherapy, or body psychotherapy, and by having individual sessions myself I was able to transform my life....
  • Philipa Thornton
    Thinking back, it was most likely my uncles suicide when I was a teenager. I wished I would have been able to help him more. This lead me to the helping field. I worked for many years to become a licensed psychologist to be of service to others in a meaningful way....
  • April Lewis
    For many years as a high school teacher, I worked with students who did the best that they could with what their life experiences had dealt them, with students who struggled to achieve their full potential. Many of these students had been labelled as troublemakers who impeded the progress of others in the classroom and therefore needed to be (and were) punished for not conforming or behaving. I felt some frustration that in schools, because time and resources are limited, I was not able to help such students as much as I would have...
  • Arna Stewart
    I have always been a curious observer of others so psychology made sense because it is a study of human experience and behaviour. Becoming a psychologist and counsellor has been a natural and enjoyable progression for me. ...
  • Sarah Harwood
    Since I was a little girl I have always been the person that people would confide in. When I started teaching music at the age of 16 my students would often talk to me about difficulties at home or school. This inspired me years later to complete a Master of Arts in Counselling, specialising in marriage, children, and families. Since then I have enjoyed helping people discover their strengths to lead contented and fulfilling lives....
  • Pam Danson
    had the good fortune to witness masters demonstrating a model which was incredibly transparent to me and made me feel – that’s do-able, that’s learnable, there are steps to follow and I could do that. I was invited to a group by a friend and felt I'd come home. ...
  • Lara Petrulis
    As I reflect on this question, I’m not sure if I can say that it was a definite choice that I made. Given my supportive family environment, it seemed a natural progression to continue offering care to others. I can remember as a young child facilitating discussions with my siblings - encouraging them to “communicate openly and express their feelings…” – I just needed to understand the theory behind the practice and perhaps refine my skills a tad! ...
  • Kate McMaugh
    I originally chose to study psychology as an 18 year old who was interested in "brains and behaviour" but I did not come from an academic family at all and really had little idea what a psychologist did and I don't think I had ever met one! However it turned out though my choice all those years ago was a lucky one, as I love what I do. As I got older and more aware of my profession it was the mind-body connection and the huge potential of the human being to heal that really hooked me into counselling. Psychology is such a broad...
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